Signs of Readiness
It has been important for me to assess whether or not my son is really ready to wean. I have been paying attention to him, in this way, over the last year. What I have noticed is this….
He can go 12-15 hours without nursing, even if I am present with him and ready to nurse at anytime. He can sleep through the night for 10-12 hours, without waking, and without needing to nurse. He can wait to nurse, if I am not ready when he is asking. He can be adamant about asking, if he really needs to nurse immediately. He wants to nourish those around him, like his stuffed animals… so we play nurse his favorite stuffies on most days… this is all by his own initiation. He can ask to nurse with sign, with words, and with a please. He understands it is a joke when his daddy offers to nurse him.
This all tells me he gets it. He understands the nourishment he has been receiving. He is happy for it and playful with it. He holds his nursing relationship loosely enough to bring me a curiosity about what will happen as I gently encourage him to let go a little more.
Some of the other obvious things are present in my assessment as well: fully into solids and has been for a long time, able to drink from various kinds of cups with various kinds of liquids in them, securely attached to me, securely attached to the others close to him in his life, able to make friends and play with others, continually shows an interest in learning and growing, able to take risks, able to seek safety and comfort in various ways, able to express his pleasure and displeasure, able to show empathy to others, able to fall asleep without nursing, does not need to nurse right away when he wakes up, understands and is at peace with hellos and goodbyes, and is overall a very happy, well adjusted little person!
Our nursing schedule today has been 3 early morning nurses and he is down for his nap now, without having nursed. We are looking good for today in terms of progression, happiness, and nourishment through many wonderful means.